Conservation Officer Service closing in
The Conservation Officer Service (COS) set a trap for it on Tuesday.
At 4:15 PM yesterday (Thursday), COS emailed Cortes Currents that they are still monitoring the situation and in consultation with Provincial Wildlife Biologists.
Anyone spotting the bear is asked to call 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or #7277 on the TELUS Mobility Network.
Incident at SouthEnd Farm Winery
A pregnant goat disappeared from the SouthEnd Farm Winery shortly before 9 AM last Monday. The owners, Ben and Jill McGuffie, their two children and some neighbours combed the woods, but were unable to find the missing animal.
Around 9:50 that night, the McGuffie’s noticed that their two remaining goats were not in their usual spot. Ben got out of bed and stuck his head out the door for a closer look. That’s when he noticed ‘something large and brown’ chasing one of his goats. Clad in nothing but his underwear, McGuffie grabbed a deck brush and ran outside to intervene, His wife Jill followed with a piece of plywood. They started yelling. Ben started questioning his sanity, when the grizzly came to a stop ten metres away. He threw his brush at the animal. When that didn’t faze the bear, Ben threw a rock.
“I think I got it. I don’t image missing it would have made it take off. It took off into the hill at the back,” he later told CTV news.
The McGuffies have brought their two remaining goats inside their home until the situation is resolved.
Grizzlys on Quadra
Ben has lived on Quadra Island for 44 years, but never seen a grizzly that far south.
He has heard reports of two previous grizzly visits to Quadra.
Though Grizzly bears are not native to Quadra or Campbell River, there is a large population on the Mainland. They swim across via the Discovery Islands, where there is not much water separating individual islands. As many as four are known to have made the crossing in 2008.
There have been recent grizzly sightings in some of the more northern Discovery Islands, and Vancouver Island.
The two-year old Grizzly Bear
The Quadra Island Grizzly may have been pushed out of the Mainland by other bears and looking for territory.
COS confirmed that a grizzly has been on Quadra island for the past 3-4 weeks. It was initially “further north closer to wilderness areas.”
Retired forester Rory Annett was celebrating his 60th birthday at his home, south of Rebecca Spit, when the bear wandered through their yard on Sunday. His wife Joanna took a picture of it with her cell phone. The Arnetts identified the bear as a male and roughly two years old.
After the incident at SouthEnd Farm Winery, Conservation officer Sgt. Mike Newton told CHEK News, “When the bear switches from natural food to non-natural food, domestic animals, livestock in close proximity of homes, yes absolutely it’s escalated and has posed a more serious safety risk.”
Related Bear incidents on Cortes Island
FOCI has already proven it is possible for humans to coexist with wolves, if they follow a few .
They published a Bear Primer in the Spring of 2020.
However the first lesson is that this is bear country and the Whaletown Black Bear had to be put down for the humans to learn it. (Correction: Though it was slated to be put down, the Squirrel Cove Bear escaped and appears to still be alive – update coming.)
Story compiled from: email from the Conservation Officer Service; previous interview with Autumn Barrett-Morgan of FOCI; numerous media reports
Links of Interest:
- (Gov of BC) Conservation Officer Service
- (Gov of BC) Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP)
- (WildsafeBC) Grizzly Bear
- (WildsafeBC) Wild Alert Reporting Program
- (WildsafeBC) Bear Smart Community Program
- (WildsafeBC) Black Bear
- (Cortes Currents) Articles about, or mentioning, the Whaletown Bear
- (Cortes Currents) Articles about, or mentioning, the Squirrel Cove Bear
- (FOCI) Learning to Live with Bears on Cortes Island
- (FOCI) Learning to Live with Wolves on Cortes Island
Top photo credit: Bear in the Khutzeymateen Provincial Park (the grizzly bear sanctuary) in British Columbia. Spring 2019 by Leila Boujnane on Unsplash
Sign-up for Cortes Currents email-out:
To receive an emailed catalogue of articles on Cortes Currents, send a (blank) email to subscribe to your desired frequency: